Missouri vs. Navy
A great way to start your New Year's Eve celebration early...
Missouri is bringing a three game winning streak into their fifth consecutive bowl game appearance. Navy is
bringing its most victories in three seasons to their academy-record 7th straight bowl game appearance. This game has all the symptoms of an exciting, high-scoring offensive shootout. Although this is the first meeting between these two teams since 1961, contrasting offenses should make for a great game. Navy is fourth in the nation in rushing yards at 272.5 yards per game, and their powerful option offense is led by junior QB Ricky Dobbs. Dobbs rushed for 1,037 yards himself, and set a single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a QB with 24. Dobbs will certainly be facing one of his biggest tests, as he faces a Missouri rush defense that is 12th in the nation, allowing only 96.4 yards per game on the ground. Missouri brings to the table a powerful passing game that ranks 14th in the nation with 298.4 yards per game. Sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert had an unbelievable season, throwing for 3,302 yards, 23 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. His favorite target was senior receiver Danario Alexander, who caught 107 balls for 1,644 yards and 13 touchdowns. Navy will have their hands full trying to stop the nation's hottest receiver in Alexander. Navy puts in the effort, but I am going to have to go with Mizzou on this one, because they are just too hard to stop if they get it going early. Navy can be hit-or-miss, winning games against Notre Dame but losing to Hawaii. I'll keep it high-scoring and close, just for entertainment's sake ....Missouri wins ... 39-31.
Armed Forces Bowl:
Air Force vs. Houston
Why a combination of talent, excitement, offense and defense will make for a must-see football game:
After last year's showing between these two teams, it comes as no surprise they are pitted against each other inthis year's Armed Forces Bowl. We could realistically expect over 1,000 yards of total offense and an exciting back to back scoring game between these two opponents. Houston is terrible against the run, so they wont' fare well against an Air Force team that ranks 3rd in the nation with 273.6 rushing yards per game. However, even with the nation's number one pass defense, Air Force will have their hands full with Houston QB Case Keenum and the Cougars passing game, which ranks first in total yards, (581.2) passing yards, (460.5) and touchdown passes (43). Don't forget second in the nation in points scored at 43.2 per game. It is hard to sing the praises of Keenum in only a paragraph, but his resume is among the nation's best. (If not the best). The Falcons have lost back-to-back Armed Forces Bowls, while Houston went 3-0 against BCS opponents this season. (Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Mississippi State). Either side has the potential to run away with this one, as Houston's high powered air attack does not always lead to points, but Air Force does not have the passing game to play catch up if Keenum heats up early. I'll take Houston here ... 42-28.